Volunteer Spotlights

An important aspect of Grinnell’s mission is to graduate individuals “who are prepared in life and work to use their knowledge and their abilities to serve the common good.”

Grinnellians have a long history of giving back to their alma mater, communities, and those in need.

Below, we have put the spotlight on Grinnellians who have made the world a better place. These are their stories.


Nancy Ying '95Nancy Ying ’95

“Being involved as a volunteer in more than one way helps me stay active within the Grinnell community. I enjoy having intersecting opportunities to talk about Grinnell and planning events that bring alumni together.”

Nancy gives back through volunteering both in Chicago and with her class


Karmi Mattson (in white) and a friend at Reunion.Karmi Mattson ’97

“Grinnell made me the person I am today. Several of the jobs I've held in my career came to me because of experiences I had at Grinnell. My closest friends are Grinnellians I met as a student. I also have new Grinnell friends I have met since graduation who are important to me as well. I love being part of the Grinnell community.”

For Karmi Mattson, the Grinnell Experience didn't stop on campus


Mary Parker '06 and her wife Erin.Mary Parker ’06

“When we started meeting in 2015 to plan Reunion, we talked about how we could make a legacy for our class, and we wanted something that we could all work on together. We decided that we wanted to make it possible for students who couldn’t afford Grinnell to come here.”

Arkansas teacher helps establish class endowed scholarship


Sarah Labowitz ’04Sarah Labowitz ’04 & Jim Randall ’66

“After Hurricane Harvey a couple of people told me ‘you can never leave Houston now, you are very Houston.’ The spirit of the place was wonderful. Sometimes the images of disasters are rowdy with people looting. The reality is disasters bring out the best in the human spirit. People were incredibly generous and gentle with each other.”

Grinnell College alumni lend a hand during devastating disasters


If you know a Grinnellian volunteer who has generously given their time and talents, consider sending along their name for a future volunteer spotlight story to the Alumni Editorial Team.